Considered use of enhancement lighting

One of the most publicly well-received outcomes of the Rochester Bridge Refurbishment Project is the installation of enhancement lighting on the Old Bridge.

At weekends the structure is illuminated in a soft white in the evening, and coloured displays are used to publicise themes and projects which promote the Trust’s values and activities and occasionally celebrate significant events.

The displays are a cheerful sight, even if we do say so ourselves.

However, just because we can illuminate the bridge doesn’t mean we should.

The Rochester Bridge Trust is committed to reducing its impact on the environment, and as a result we are balancing the fun of the enhancement lighting with the serious need to account for our carbon footprint.

For this reason, the soft white is only used at the weekend, when people are more likely to be out and about and noticing the structure. The lights themselves are only used from dusk until midnight for the same reason.

We also take great care to limit the number and duration of bridge illuminations for special events. There are an endless number of good causes and memorial or celebration days, and if we were to mark them all the enhancement lighting would be permanently coloured – and generating an enormous amount of carbon.

For example, the Old Bridge was illuminated for Tomorrow’s Engineer’s Week – an important part of our calendar for inspiring the bridge builders of the future – but only on the first day of the event. The same happened for Recycling Week. Month-long activities are not participated in because how would we choose one day out of so many to mark an occasion? The lights do stay on for longer at Christmas, but this has been carefully factored into our carbon calculations.

By being strict and selective about the activities that are marked we are able to bring fun to the structure without costing the earth.

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